Michigan Health Watch

In-depth reporting on the intersection between public policy and important health topics ‒ such as insurance coverage, hospital admissions, opioid abuse, access to care, medical research and the business of health care ‒ that impact nearly every Michigan resident. 

Articles

These Michigan doctors treated coronavirus: Here’s what they learned

These Michigan doctors treated coronavirus: Here’s what they learned

May 5, 2020 | Kate Wells, Michigan Radio

Southeast Michigan doctors got a crash course in treating COVID-19, an experience that caused them to question what they thought they knew about the coronavirus and how to keep patients alive. Some hospitals reached different results.

ER visits plummet amid pandemic: 'More people are dying at home'

ER visits plummet amid pandemic: 'More people are dying at home'

May 5, 2020 | Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press

Hospitals are urging the public not to be afraid of going to the emergency room for a medical emergency as COVID-19 fears caused ER visits to plummet.

As coronavirus eases, Michigan hospitals ramp up more lucrative procedures

As coronavirus eases, Michigan hospitals ramp up more lucrative procedures

May 4, 2020 | Robin Erb

Michigan hospitals were forced to halt non-emergency surgeries and procedures as COVID-19 surged. The state is now blessing their decision to take patients with less urgent but “time-sensitive” cases. 

Remembering 11 Felician Sisters in Livonia who died in April

Remembering 11 Felician Sisters in Livonia who died in April

May 3, 2020 | Robin Erb

At least five of the deaths were linked to the coronavirus, which tore through the convent. There were 60 to 70 sisters, many of them elderly, living at the convent prior to the pandemic.

Coronavirus tears through a beloved Michigan convent devoted to service

Coronavirus tears through a beloved Michigan convent devoted to service

May 2, 2020 | Robin Erb

The Felician Sisters, who founded Madonna University, schools, a hospice and hospital in Livonia, were hit by 22 cases of COVID-19. The order lost 11 sisters in 16 days, with at least five deaths tied to the virus.

Beaumont hospital near Detroit to reopen as coronavirus surge never came

Beaumont hospital near Detroit to reopen as coronavirus surge never came

May 1, 2020 | Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press

The hospital in the Downriver community of Wayne was shut down to general medical services as the system prepped for a flood of COVID-19 cases. While those cases flooded its other hospitals, the surge never extended to Wayne 

Headache? Sore throat? Pay attention to these new coronavirus symptoms

Headache? Sore throat? Pay attention to these new coronavirus symptoms

May 1, 2020 | Brie Zeltner

The CDC added six additional symptoms, including headaches and sore throats, as possible signs of COVID-19 spread. Knowing these new symptoms will help you make better decisions on when to remain isolated. 

Oakland County to test 15K residents of senior facilities for coronavirus

Oakland County to test 15K residents of senior facilities for coronavirus

April 30, 2020 | Robin Erb

Following trends nationwide, nearly half of all deaths from COVID-19 are in nursing homes in Oakland County. Now, first responders are going into senior centers to test residents and staff in an effort to get ahead of the pandemic.

With weeks to plan, Grand Rapids learns from Detroit’s coronavirus surge

With weeks to plan, Grand Rapids learns from Detroit’s coronavirus surge

April 30, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

West Michigan hospitals say they are ready as a spike in COVID-19 cases hit the region. Hospital executives are implementing techniques picked up from Chicago and Detroit to improve the odds faced by desperately-ill patients.

Michigan doctor near death among first to get coronavirus plasma treatment

Michigan doctor near death among first to get coronavirus plasma treatment

April 28, 2020 | Robin Erb

He received convalescent plasma at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, one of 14 patients there receiving the experimental treatment. Early returns are promising but it’s far too early to know if it actually works.

As coronavirus ravages nursing homes, Michigan records spotty at best

As coronavirus ravages nursing homes, Michigan records spotty at best

April 28, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

Michigan last week released records on coronavirus at nursing homes, but the records are incomplete and contain glaring omissions, a Bridge review has found.

Gov. Whitmer urged coronavirus tests for all key workers. Don’t bank on it

Gov. Whitmer urged coronavirus tests for all key workers. Don’t bank on it

April 28, 2020 | Riley Beggin, Brie Zeltner

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said last week that all of Michigan’s essential workers should get tested, even those without symptoms. That’s easier said than done, as many hospitals and test sites say they still lack capacity to test workers with no symptoms.

With fewer non-coronavirus emergencies, Michigan hospital cuts ER docs’ pay

With fewer non-coronavirus emergencies, Michigan hospital cuts ER docs’ pay

April 27, 2020 | Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press

Beaumont Health ER doctors handling heart attacks, other illnesses and pediatric cases will take pay cuts or temporary leaves of absence as the coronavirus continues to pound at Beaumont’s bottom line. 

Michigan poison control calls jump after Trump’s disinfectant remarks

Michigan poison control calls jump after Trump’s disinfectant remarks

April 27, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Between Friday and Sunday, there were 65 calls to the Michigan Poison Center about exposure to household cleaning products, including 16 calls about bleach and nine calls about disinfectants, according to data from the center. That was up about 86 percent from the prior weekend and 55 percent over the same span last year.

Michigan coronavirus medical deaths at 16, more than some hospitals say

Michigan coronavirus medical deaths at 16, more than some hospitals say

April 27, 2020 | Jennifer Dixon, Detroit Free Press, Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

COVID-19 has taken a heavy toll on nurses, doctors and other health care workers. Health systems aren’t always eager to publicly acknowledge those who died.  

Coronavirus empties pediatrician offices in Michigan, decreases vaccinations

Coronavirus empties pediatrician offices in Michigan, decreases vaccinations

April 26, 2020 | Robin Erb

Parents are avoiding health care settings for fear of coronavirus. But doing so, doctors say, puts a child’s health at risk with missed vaccinations, untended anxiety problems or life-threatening diseases that can develop undetected.

Coronavirus cases rising again in Michigan. That may not be bad news.

Coronavirus cases rising again in Michigan. That may not be bad news.

April 24, 2020 | Robin Erb, Mike Wilkinson, Brie Zeltner

For much of April, coronavirus cases dropped consistently in Michigan. They are jumping upward again in the past few days as cases spread outstate. But experts also attribute the rise to more testing.

Patients at 1 in 3 Michigan nursing homes have coronavirus, records show

Patients at 1 in 3 Michigan nursing homes have coronavirus, records show

April 24, 2020 | Ted Roelofs, Mike Wilkinson

For the first time, Michigan regulators released records about the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes. It’s as bad as many thought: more than 2,100 cases at 141 homes. (With database to search for homes)

Coronavirus surges in Grand Rapids area, bucking trends in rest of Michigan

Coronavirus surges in Grand Rapids area, bucking trends in rest of Michigan

April 24, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

A spike of virus cases among homeless people helps push Kent County’s daily coronavirus cases to levels equal to those seen in metro Detroit. Officials in the west Michigan county say a peak could be three weeks away.

You can now see how many coronavirus patients are in each Michigan hospital

You can now see how many coronavirus patients are in each Michigan hospital

April 24, 2020 | Kate Wells, Michigan Radio

You can now look up the number of COVID-19 patients at a particular hospital or health system, as well as the total capacity of beds being used, and the number of days of personal protective equipment left on hand.

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